Best Budget Projectors 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews

Expert Contributor

Jeff Day

Are you looking for a cheaper projector for at home? Or are you a film aficionado wanting the bonuses of a cinema in your own home? Always been in awe of the projector models used in cinemas? Have you ever said to yourself “I need a cheap projector”? Well, this article is for you!

Today we’re taking you through our top fifteen listings of the best projector for the money – that is, the best inexpensive deals we can give you. A decent projector is a must if you want to watch movies in the comfort of your own home.

This article will be giving you our top fifteen options for the best budget options, whilst also giving you handy hints and tips to look out for when you shop for affordable projectors. Whether you want the a projector for a home theatre, or you’re just in the market for an average low-cost projector, we have something for you.

In times like these, it’s so important to find objects that meet all of your parameters and needs for your chosen price point. Not to mention, you need screens with good optics to watch all of your favorite scenes from the biggest family films.

Have a read of our guide to find the top cheap projectors from the best brands, with the top functioning for users like you!

15 Best Budget Projectors

Here are our top 15 picks for the cheapest and best of 2020. This list has something for everyone, boasting impressive projector features such as a high contrast ratio, or premium lens shift.

Whether you’re hooking up to a mobile device in the house or a PC in the office, there’s something for you here! Read on to find the projector of your dreams. If you’re certain you want a projector with 4K quality, be sure to check out our picks for the best cheapest 4K projector.

1. XIAOYA Projector with HiFi

XIAOYA Projector with HiFi

Best Features: Multimedia connectivity for Android or Apple smartphones. Versatile use in the home or office.

The first model on offer is the XIAOYA Mini, with 720p, a HiFi speaker, and 4000 lumens. Its impressive support of 1080p home theatre systems, and its broad allowance of compatibility options, make it a brilliant purchase for those looking at style, substance, and value.

The quality of these HD images boasts an advanced color wheel and easy lens shift. The low noise and long lamp life, as well as the support ceiling mount and included tripod, allow this mini model to be transported and used anywhere you like. Its cooling systems ensures there’s no overheating, and with an array of impressive features such as 60,000 hours of use, this high resolution, low price projector is the one for you. Just use a power cord to hook it to TV boxes or LED light sources.


Resolution: 1280 x 800 | Projection Size: 720P | Contrast Ratio: 4000:1 | Compatibility: VGA, Memory Stick, HDMI, 3.5mm Audio, USB 3.0

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2. VANKYO Leisure 3 Mini

VANKYO Leisure 3 Mini

Best Features: Fabulous price. Brilliant qualities even with daylight bleeding.

Our second model is the VANKYO Leisure 3 Mini. This impressive projector comes with support of 1080p display and boasts a 40000 hour lamp life of the LED lamp. It’s compatible with VGA, USB, the Fire Stick, and even gaming consoles like the PS4.

This multipurpose, multimedia projector comes at a low price with a number of impressive features. It supports USB drives, contains a fan whir suppression system, and even has a conveniently large screening size for a short throw distance. High resolution, high brightness, high qualities of images – and a low price. What more could you need?

Oh yeah, you could also need a 2000: 1 contrast ratio and +/- 15 degree keystone correction… but this features that too! Gotcha!


Resolution: 1920*1080 | Projection Size: 32” to 170” | Contrast Ratio: 2000:1 | Compatibility: Chromecast, PC, laptops, tv, DVD. VGA/USB/Micro SD/AV

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3. VIVIMAGE C480 Mini


Best Features: Advanced connecting process for ease of use. Breathtaking brightness of 3800 Lumen lux, and a 2000: 1 contrast ratio for high image quality and resolution.

Our third editor’s choice is the VIVIMAGE C480 Mini, which boasts an impressive 3800 Lux and 40,000 hours of lamp life. Its portability knows no bounds, and for less than $100 you’d have a hard time arguing with the low price of this model.

One of the greatest features of these models, besides their many inputs for support of different devices, is the short throw distance. This provides an easy watching experience for any movie or TV show, and gives you plenty of power in deciding which features and environments suit you best.

These products will pull you into the action, say VIVIMAGE, as the immersive images provide a cinematic experience like no other – so you can be sure that no two movies will be experienced the same way, but both will have a high resolution!


Resolution: 1080P | Projection Size: 3. 8ft to 18ft. | Contrast Ratio: 2000:1 | Compatibility: TV Stick, PCs, Laptops, Tablets, Blue-ray DVD player, SD Card, USB Flash Drive, PS4/XBOX/WII, Media player

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4. VANKYO Leisure 340 Mini

VANKYO Leisure 340 Mini

Best Features: Amazing picture clarity and brightness. Array of positive features which have been upgraded this year for improved use.

Pick number 4 is quite similar to number 2, as it comes from one of the greatest on this list, VANKYO. The Leisure 340 is 2020-upgraded, fresh for your use. Plenty of new features give this model a lot of benefits, including the many inputs, built-in speaker, and resolution with which you can view all of your content.

No picture will be the same again. And, as we mentioned before, VANKYO give you a 3 years’ protection so if you’re unhappy with your purchase’s features you can easily pop to the site and make a return. They’re first for customer support. It’s not a lot more complex than that – this brand goes the distance for your quality and comfort, ensuring every user is content to use their product.

The remarkable clarity and picture brightness gives you reason enough to watch your favorite movies over and over again. Whichever movie you opt for, this is perfect for home use in hosting movie nights and watch parties, as well as any other purpose.


Resolution: 800*480 | Projection Size: 236″ | Contrast Ratio: 2000:1 | Compatibility: HDMI, VGA, USB, Micro SD, RCA AV interfaces. Easily connect to smartphones, PS3, PS4, X-Box ONE

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5. VANKYO Leisure 410 Mini

VANKYO Leisure 410 Mini

Best Features: Multiple media compatibility. Perfect for home theatre use.

Yet another superstar from the VANKYO Leisure range, the 410 Mini Projector has also been newly upgraded with some fresh content for 2020, for your ease of use.

It’s also perfect for indoor or outdoor use, and will give a stunning picture quality on all your movies for a very low price! One of the many great models that features on this list, the large screen entertainment, included speakers and fan noise mute features, and a lot more, make this a perfect model for all of your HD image needs.

You’ll be more than content buying this product from the Amazon site, as it offers 6 inputs and some fabulous audio ports. With easy playback from your phone or a number of devices of your choice, this effective design gives you high performance for office presentations and movies alike. The Amazon site reviews also show you why VANKYO’s customer support is some of the greatest in the world.


Resolution: 1080P | Projection Size: 2” to 176” | Contrast Ratio: 2000:1 | Compatibility: HDIMI, VGA, AV, USB and Micro SD

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6. TOPVISION Projector with 100″ Screen

TOPVISION Projector with 100" Screen

Best Features: High performance with an array of features available. Many connection types on offer.

If you’re in the market for another amazing top-rated cheap pick, you should definitely look no further. The TOPVISION projector with 4500 lumen light, an 100″ screen, and builtin HiFi speakers is amid some of the most wonderful around.

With easy connecting to an Android smartphone or an Apple iPhone, it seriously couldn’t be easier to link this up to any device for all of your audio needs. You can even use a HDMI splitter to share the experience, giving you full HD and a decent throw ratio for movie after movie.

Whichever rooms you put this in, wherever you go, the efficient design and amazing audio level allows this high performance model to be amid some of the most efficient on the site – it’ll soon be an integral part of any of your games or movies, bursting with vivid color.


Resolution: 1280*720 | Projection Size: 72” to 240” | Contrast Ratio: 3000:1 | Compatibility: TV Box, Chromebook, PC, Laptop, Tablet, Blue-ray DVD player, SD Card, USB Flash Drive, Video Games, Media player

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7. TENKER Upgrade Q5 Mini

TENKER Upgrade Q5 Mini

Best Features: Reduced fan noise for sleek and quiet presentation. Fabulous image quality and focus, so there’s not one bit of trouble.

Our seventh pick should be in your mind for any parties or presentations, or even just a chill gaming session. The TENKER Mini, with a big display LED, offers advantage after advantage to no significant end. Tell your friends, tell your kids’ teachers that they need this in their classrooms! There’s no thing this brilliant projector can’t do; just hook the input up to a laptop or computer.

With clear lens design, a small throwing distance, and an awesome contrast ratio, your friends will appreciate this option at their next Netflix night. You’re bound to get some fans of the light weight design and easily portable nature; just pop it into a bag. For any services you require this for, these units are essential to keep in mind.

The results of projections are incredible for any spaces, no matter the size, and will make all the difference for any sort of presentations or environment requirements. That’s why our editor recommends these units.


Resolution: 1024 x 768 | Projection Size: 35-100″ | Contrast Ratio: 2000:1 | Compatibility: USB drives, smartphones and tablets. PLEASE NOTE: A WiFi display dongle

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8. FUJSU Mini Video Projector

FUJSU Mini Video Projector

Best Features: Comes with a ton of accessories, such as a remote control (battery not included). So much connectivity at hand, such as iOs, android, or HDMI – you can even use the Apple Airplay function.

Best Features: Comes with a ton of accessories, such as a remote control (battery not included). So much connectivity at hand, such as iOs, android, or HDMI – you can even use the Apple Airplay function.

The FUJSU Mini means business. It doesn’t mess around, it didn’t come to play. That doesn’t mean that you can’t!

With VGA and USB ports’ connective function, the contrast ratio, sound quality, and many more features of this makes it an absolute must-buy for the cheap price you can find it at. The 100% satisfaction guarantee offered by FUJSU features FDA, FCC and UL certification, whilst the 3 years’ return period means that every need is met for your satisfaction.

The dual speakers and low noise system are both ideal for the smoothest functioning, whilst the vibrancy of the color wheel makes this way better than contemporaries like the Optoma HD146X. Even DLP projectors with that color wheel, or the best color gamut, can’t compare to this brilliant machine.

With a high contrast ratio and lens clarity, hook this up to your computer and enjoy the fun for hours.


Resolution: 1080P | Projection Size: 32″-200″ | Contrast Ratio: 4000:1 | Compatibility: HDMI/USB/AV/VGA/3.5mm Headphone Jack

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9. DBPower T20 LCD Mini Movie Projector

DBPower T20 LCD Mini Movie Projector

Best Features: Amazing projection distance. Powerful connections and sleek, durable body.

Our ninth feature has a brilliant capacity to enhance the whites and blacks of your color wheel. With many a high performance mode, this is brilliant for all of your viewing preferences. You won’t find offers like this in other places, as the users’ rating results can attest to.

Of course, the DBPower T20 offers many ways for you to have all of your preferences met with this handy piece of tech.

The level of connections, screen zoom, play back, and image quality do not go unnoticed. With a clarity that’s 50% sharper and 70% brighter than most other DLP projectors, you could use this for movies, games, presentations, and more. If you want high color contrast and amazing image clarity, you won’t want to look at other types of projector, whether DLP projectors or LCD.


Resolution: 800 x 480 | Projection Size: 32”-176″ | Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 | Compatibility: smartphones, iPads, USB drives, Amazon Fire Stick, TV boxes, PCs, laptops and game consoles

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10. NYE NEIL Portable Mini LED

NYE NEIL Portable Mini LED

Best Features: A panel of tech support available at all times, as well as long warranty policies. Compatible with a large number of devices for all possible projects and audiences – gamers or students, Chromecast or Playstation – this has it all, folks.

Our tenth big name option comes with many a high review on websites such as Amazon, and is easily compatible with devices such as tablets. With a lot of edges to situate the Portable Mini LED projector above market competitors, this is an awesome pick for listening to music videos or watching movies.

The fact is, you only have to check the review comments and every website to see the detail of this projector’s wonderful functions. It’s at the front of the line, and deserves your wallet’s contents for any meetings or Netflix nights that you have to hold.


Resolution:  1920 X 1080 | Projection Size: 4.33’’ to 7.09″ | Compatibility: Fire TV Stick/PS4/USB/HDMI/SD/AV

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11. WiMiUS P18 Upgraded Projector

WiMiUS P18 Upgraded Projector

Best Features: Easy to access and set-up. Brilliant perspective and image clarity- one of the ones to watch all your favorite Hulu shows on.

As we near the end of our listings, our next pick is the WiMiUS P18 upgraded projector with a stunning 6200 lumens. The configuration of these items shows that they’re serious tools for homes or offices, and can easily display any pictures better than rivals.

For easy usage in darkness or lighter environments, this comes out on top in quite a few articles – it’s got an easy five star rating from us, and at least a 4.9 elsewhere!

On account of the amazing customer support, this comes with a lifetime protection if any parts aren’t up to your expectations. What’s more, the advanced cooling system, multimedia and smartphone connection, and hifi stereo demonstrates the array of positive features this projector offers. Take your viewing in all directions, hook this up to a Sony device or a tablet at home. Whether gaming or showing your colleagues a powerpoint, this is a perfect option.


Resolution: 1080P | Projection Size: 50-200″ | Contrast Ratio: 4000:1 | Compatibility: TV Box, Amazon Fire TV Stick, PCs, Laptops, Tablets, Chromecast, DVD player, USB Flash Drive

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12. ViewSonic PS501X

ViewSonic PS501X

Best Features: Industry leading protective policies- email the company to find out more, this purchase is in your control. Eco friendly lamp life.

This next product is the ViewSonic PS501X. With 3400 lumens, it’s perfect for home and office use. This versatile projector is fab for the big screen or for small screen office presentations.

It beats out a lot of DLP projectors in terms of durable build and easy set up, as the SmartEco mode of lamp use provides a lamp life of up to 15,000 hours. The flexibility afforded in connecting means you can use this with an array of different devices, for any services you may require. High contrast ratios and clear lens qualities abound, this projector is the perfect choice for you.


Resolution: 1024 x 768 | Projection Size: 120″ | Compatibility: HDMI, USB, VGA

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13. APEMAN Projector

APEMAN Projector

Best Features: Multiple inputs easily controlled by remote. Big name brand with reliable protective policy and timely customer service for users.

The APEMAN mini is our next pick for you. Its 3800 lumens, support of 1080p viewing, and 45,000 hours of lamp life make it suitable for a wide range of uses. What’s more, its price tag of less than $100 makes it one of the better deals on this website. Its ability to provide an amazing user experience is evident, and the customer service is also heralded as another evident ability of APEMAN. Just check the website for more details of the protective details.

Websites like Amazon give this pick a high rating for its range of good features. As a big-name brand, you can’t do much better than APEMAN.


Resolution: 1080p | Projection Size: 30-100″ | Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 | Compatibility: laptop, TV Box, DVD, tablet, camera, PS3/4, smartphone

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14. YABER Native 1080p Projector

YABER Native 1080p Projector

Best Features: Advanced connection options for an array of users and their purpose. Lifetime professional support and 3 years’ protection.

The penultimate pick we have, the YABER Native 1080p, is a showstopper. Whilst a little pricier than your average, the +/- 50 degree keystone correction shows why this is priced a little higher than some.

With a whopping 6800 lumen, users will be more than satisfied with this high performance projector. The color of images, for the most part, is unmatched by any other DLP. So, whether you play games or opt for other types of fun, the color qualities are incredibly clear. But, the devil’s in the details of course: make sure to read reviews and check websites before purchasing.


Resolution: 1920*1080 | Projection Size: 50″ to 300″ | Contrast Ratio: 7000:1 | Compatibility: TV Box, Amazon Fire Stick TV, Chromecast, PC, laptop, tablet, external speakers, Playstation, Xbox, DVD player, card reader, USB stick, media players, iPad, iPhone, Android smartphone

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15. VAVA 4K UHD Laser Home Theater Projector

VAVA 4K UHD Laser Home Theater Projector

Best Features: Users’ satisfaction from customer service and durable projector. Easy hookups to a range of different devices, such as PCs.

Heralded by users as one of the best for its purpose, our final pick is the VAVA 4K home theater make. With a built-in Harman soundbar, over 2,000 lumens, and a tabletop mounting style, this 4K is one of the better types available here.

No matter the types of entertaining you opt for- games, movies, or otherwise, this 4K projector can aid you through it all. It’s easily hooked up to games consoles and other types through optical connection, so you can play games instantaneously.

What’s more, the color and image qualities are outstanding, and the first class customer service ensures that if users find this isn’t the case, you can easily make a return.


Resolution: 4K | Projection Size: 80 to 150 inches | Contrast Ratio: 3000:1 | Compatibility: Bluetooth, USB, Triple HDMI, Wi-Fi, Optical

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Our Top Picks

Best Budget Projectors

The greatest budget picks that will make an addition to any meeting rooms or living rooms are the FUJSU Mini Video projectors. They’re easy to transport, can be hooked up to mobile devices and other devices, and have a 4000: 1 contrast ratio – which is highly impressive.

With a whopping 5 stars in Amazon ratings, it’s no wonder this is hogging all the web traffic. Its LED technology and 4500 lux brightness (with a brilliant bulb life to boot) earns it the 100% satisfaction guarantee that FUJSU boast.

Buy yours today – it’s dominating world tech news, is a brilliant choice, and offers easy smartphone playback at high resolutions without a problem. There really isn’t much more you could want from the premium display of this product.

FUJSU Mini Video Projector, Portable Movie Projectors, Full HD 1080P Projector for Home Theater and Outdoor Movie, Compatible with Fire TV Stick, TV Box, PS4, Laptop, Smartphone, VGA, TF, AV
  • 【Portable Mini Projector for Home Movie】Packed in a professional, compact carrying case for storage, the projector is small and light and doesn’t take up much space. It is ideal for playing videos, TV series, photos sharing, football matches etc. That is a great movie party to entertain your family and friends.
  • 【Safe Brightness, Sharper Images】With full HD 1080P resolution and 4500 lux brightness, FUJSU video projector provides you with amazing sharp images and utilizes advanced LCD TFT technology which is +80% brighter than other TV projectors and safe for your children's eyes.
  • 【Low Noise, Dual Speakers】Adopted the latest cooling technology, the heat of the bulb can be effectively cooled and the noise is greatly reduced. The built-in dual speaker offers loud and full sound for convenient use, it also supports connecting external speakers for better sound quality to enjoy movie night in backyard.
  • 【Wide Compatibility 】LCD video projector support HDMI/USB/AV/VGA/3.5mm Headphone Jack , which allows you to use it with laptops/PC/TV Box/Chrome Book/Tablets/Blue-ray DVD players/USB flash drives/Multi-media players(music, pictures, videos)/iOS/Android (HDMI Cable included FREE). Note: Chromecast is supported.
  • 【100% Satisfaction Guarantee】FUJSU projectors feature secure FDA, FCC and UL certificate, and receives regular security firmware updates in US professional maintenance center. Free return & exchange service within 60-day and free technical assistance for 3 years warranty.

Cheapest Projectors Available

Our cheapest products available are the TENKER Upgrade with Big Display LED. This impressive projector is compatible with 1080p HDMI ports, the Amazon Fire Stick, VGA ports/ a VGA cable, and an AV cable.

At less than $70, this projector gives you amazing 1080p resolution and color brightness, perfect for home movies or business presentations alike. With a 3 year warranty, TENKER are confident that you won’t want to make a return, and if you do – just drop them an email.

Premium Projectors

Our greatest premium projectors are the ViewSonic PS501X with 3400 lumens, with a short throw distance. These sleek, white projectors do come at a higher price, but they’re so versatile that it’s totally worth it.

With built-in speakers, keystone correction, and a 22,000: 1 contrast ratio, this is insanely worth the price. Enjoy the bonuses of Wi Fi connectivity, Full HD, and long lamp life.

Every customer is more than satisfied with this purchase, which boasts a range of connectivity and hassle-free setup. Perfect for home use and with little input lag, this will be your top buy of August 2020, and makes all the difference compared to models like the Optoma HD146X.

ViewSonic PS501X 3400 Lumens XGA HDMI Short Throw Projector for Home and Office
  • VERSATILE PROJECTOR: Advanced visual features ideal for use in education and small business environments
  • BIG SCREEN PROJECTION: Project 120 inches from 4-feet 10-inches in 3400 lumens
  • EASY SETUP: Simple setup and control, just plug & play your presentations, videos, and pictures
  • LONG LAMP LIFE: SuperEco mode allows the lamp to shine bright for up to 15,000 hours
  • INDUSTRY-LEADING WARRANTY: 3-year limited parts and labor coverage, 1-year of lamp coverage, and access to our US-based customer service team

Buyers’ Guide and FAQs When Choosing a Projector

What is The Best Projector under $100?

If you’re after a projector with a good deal, an easy setup, and thousands of different uses, we recommend the NYE Neil Portable Projector. If you’d like a budget home theater projector that it just so happens you can take any place with you, this is for you.

With a modern stylish look and compatibility with a wide range of devices, the movies for projectors like these are truly limitless – you can watch anything you want, when and where you want, and you don’t have to compromise image quality!

The built-in speakers offer you ample audio effects for thousands of different settings. Watching a car chase? Want to feel immersed? No worries – with this best cheap projector for home theater, you’ll feel like 50,000 cars are on you.

How Do Home Projectors Work and What Situations are They Good For?

Lots of people would argue that movies projector models for the home are cost-effective and relatively inexpensive. If you’re after a cheap projector, it really won’t be hard to find one. However, in order to find the best cheap TV projector for home theater, you’re probably wanting to know how these types work and what they could possibly be good for.

How they work:

These work very easily and efficiently, and finding a projector cheap can be very easy to do. Projectors work in a simple manner, by transmitting a digital signal on your TVs to the projector via a receiver. A lens will then collect and focus the light from the DMD chip, or the receiver, and project it onto a projection screen. This subsequently displays a massive magnification of the image on the TV.

A key word you’re going to see cropping up is a lumen. In scientific terms, a lumen is a very small hole. In projector terms, they’re the measure of brightness given to projectors. The industry formal term is an ANSI lumen, which stands for the American National Standards Institute, which is designed to regulate measurements of your devices.

Whether you’re playing video games or watching a show from your mobile device, many projectors require a good lumen capacity and lumen output. In other words, these small holes will focus the light from the receiver onto the projector screen with more clarity. The higher the lumens, the more light, and therefore the bigger the image size and the better the picture quality.

What they’re good for:

Projectors have a range of uses, meaning you can easily find the best projector deals tailored to your needs. They’re great for a home theater setup, and you’ll find a range of home theater projectors with a bunch of connectivity options perfect for your home cinema. If you’re a big blue ray fan, use the HDMI adapter to insert a HDMI input and maybe add some stereo speakers.

Here you’ve got a good HD resolution for HD images, complete with surround stereo sound. A lot of projectors today are 4K projectors, particularly designed to giving you the best video quality possible.

You could also use your projector to hook up to a gaming console. Gaming consoles, such as an Xbox, can easily be plugged in via a HDMI port, meaning you can play COD to your heart’s content on the big screen.

Of course, you need to be aware that your projector could easily overheat, especially if it offers powerful 1080p HD resolution. Therefore, you need to pick a great projector by keeping its cooling technology in mind also.

Considerations for Choosing Projectors

Before you get stuck in the middle of checking out all our stuff and their advertisers, making a mark on your search, there are some recommendations that we think you should treat as serious factors for concern when undertaking a search for the best projector for your budgets.

This is no easy operation; yes the end goal is to be entertained, but you need to make sure you do your research to ensure your home projector offers maximum durability. Rest assured, with our range of projectors you’ll easily find something for your price range.

Sound Quality

One of the most key qualities you’ll want to think about is sound. A good projector will provide you with a reliable home theater experience, complete with built-in speakers a lot of the time. Though this isn’t the be-all-end-all factor, it’s definitely very important.

If your projector does not offer speakers already set into the design, we would suggest sourcing some quality speakers to hook up to your home theater projectors. For this, you’ll also need to consider connectivity and what can reasonably be hooked up to your unit.

This element also lapses into the basic functionality of your projectors. When you’re at movie theaters you don’t hear an outrageously loud fan noise, so why should you have to when watching movies from your desktop computer?

Image Quality

Perhaps the most important quality, the clarity given by the moving images on your projector is going to greatly enhance your experience – it has the potential to make or break a purchase. This is given by a combination of factors, such as brightness (in lumen), whether your unit offers Full HD or not, and the surface you’re actually projecting images onto.

Some would recommend investing in a roll-out screen and tripod to ensure your projectors give the very best image quality on offer. This will enhance the viewing experience and, combined with a quality sound system, will give you one of the best home use projectors for your price range – adaptable to any dark room.

You might also want to consider projectors that have keystone adjustments, such as a keystone correction feature. Keystoning allows projectors that aren’t placed perpendicular to the screen’s center to skew the output image – thereby making it rectangular. This provides a smooth cinema experience for a quality price, right in your living room.

Lens Shift and Zoom Range

The way you intend to use your projector and the screen size you’ll be watching all of your favorite TV shows on definitely affects the accuracy of the picture size. For example, different screens and sized rooms will lead to a different throw distance and zoom range. Before you start watching movies, you’ll want to comb through the features that many projectors have to offer so you can find a throw ratio that suits you best.

For tighter spaces and smaller rooms, LCD projectors with a short throw distance should suffice.


Without a decent light output, LCD or DLP projectors will be unable to give you the image or video quality you need. The best way to determine the efficiency of your light output is to check the ANSI Lumens rating – this will tell you the average output of your projector.

Generally speaking, when searching for projector deals you’ll want something with 1,000 Lumens or greater – this is sufficient for home cinema use. However, room size, picture size, and ambient room lighting can all affect the amount of lumens you may need.


The actual tech of your projector can also greatly enhance the viewing experience. This will include points like the color accuracy, LED lamp, connectivity, and more.

For example, you’ll want to decide between an LCD or DLP projector. LCD is liquid crystal display, and is pretty common and perhaps more reliable than the Digital Light Processing projectors. If you intend ot carry your projector around to go watch a blu ray at your friend’s house, you may want to consider a DLP – as LCD projectors are heavier and therefore harder to transport in a travel bag or otherwise.

What’s more, we would also recommend you have a look at the connectivity of your device and which ports or connections are permitted, to ensure you don’t get any input lag. Common things to look out for will include a HDMI cable or USB port. USBs are the bare minimum standard -every projector deals with these sorts of connectivity options, even 4K projectors.

The better the connectivity, the easier your set-up.

Light Source

As well as an LCD versus DLP projector, you might want to consider the light of your projector, as told by website owners and product reviews. Viewing these specs will help you to decide which is the most important for your personal video quality. For example, all three options have their own pros and cons. If your projector uses…

…a basic lamp, then you’ll need to change the lamp after around 3 to 4,000 hours of viewing – though some go up to 5,000 hours.

…an LED lamp or a laser, then you’ll have around 20,000 hours or even more of using your projector for use in the home, with DVD players, gaming consoles, SD cards and more.


If you’re looking for a projector that’s easy to cart around with you, you might want to look at projectors with a smaller size. If your projector is going to be a feature of one particular room, however, transportation isn’t much of a concern.

The most portable projectors will offer a lightweight feel, easy wi fi connectivity, other sources of connectivity such as a USB port, an SD card, or HDMI ports, and a long lamp life for long lasting image quality when you’re watching movies in any dark room.

Aspect and Contrast Ratio

These two ratios are also of the highest importance to consider when shopping for projectors. Let’s take a closer look…

Aspect ratios

This concerns the shape of the video image that you’ll want to project. It differs based on the source of the content. Most products today have a 16:9 aspect ratio, and this is both the standard and the most preferable for any home entertainment projection system. This will allow you to use these products to the highest quality to give you a brilliant experience.

Contrast ratio

This complements the brightness level. Contrast ratio is the ratio between the image’s black and white portions – so a higher contrast ratio will make your whites whiter and blacks blacker. You could get a brand new projector with 1,500 Lumens, but if the contrast ratio is too low then your image is going to look washed out.

In a darkened room, you’ll want a 1,500: 1 contrast ratio at least, but a 2,000: 1 contrast ratio is considered preferable. This will give you the highest performance over different types of screening.

How Can I Make a Cheap Projector Better?

If you’ve bought an LED projector and you’re just not happy with the quality, thinking you’ve cheaped out a bit, then you might be wondering whether you can make your projector better.

Well, you can!

You may be aware that projectors make use of light-emitting diodes, or LED light bulbs. These are advantageous because they:

  • Are small
  • Run cool with little to no chance of overheating
  • Can stand strong against the littlest vibration
  • May last for over 10,000 hours

While this is all well and good, the LED projector offers one fatal drawback: the light output is lower for cheaper projectors than for higher priced projectors and those that use traditional lamp technologies.

This means that the key to improving your cheap projector is to maximise light output.

Here are the key ways to do so:

  1. Cover up windows where possible, if you’re projecting during the day. Sunlight is a powerful competitor for the light source of your LED projector.
  2. Turn off all the lights in the room, particularly those that will leave a reflection on the screen.
  3. Make sure your projector is a sufficient proximity to the screen, to improve the picture’s clarity.
  4. Make sure the high brightness mode is activated on your LED projector. Buttons on the projector’s control panel should make this possible and easy to find and activate.


About This Expert

Jeff Day